22 June 2015

Marcus Terentius Varro - De re rustica.

According to CMC Green, Varro "began the project, he says, at the request of his young wife who wanted to know how to manage her new estate". The 'treatise' isn't written as a text book, it's written as a series of stories and conversations.

When I first read this translation I was quite surprised to see how little beekeeping has changed in over 2,000 years (since about 30 B.C.), and how much of the advice is still relevant to 21st century beekeeping. Okay, so we now know that colonies are not led, or ruled, by a 'King' and we know that bees don't spontaneously appear within corpses of bullocks, but the antibiotic properties of honey have only been rediscovered, and used in medicine, in the last few years and the properties of thyme have been invaluable in dealing with varroa. Maybe there's something else that we 21st century beekeepers can use, if we look hard enough.

If nothing else, I think it's interesting.

This translation is taken directly from this site. The site owner William P Thayer states that this translation is "in the public domain", and may therefore be copied. Published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1934.

All the numbering and links have been removed because blogspot doesn't do sub and superscripts, and leaving them in made the text more than awkward to read. The number of paragraphs have also been increased, to try to improve readability.


21 June 2015

shb update

Good news, I hope.

Dated 15 June 2015 and via Gavin Ramsay  on sbai
I have to say that the apparent success of the eradication attempt in southern Italy is surprising ... and good. It might still be lurking somewhere there - or elsewhere in Europe - but this sea of green dots for 2015 is very promising.
From Italian health authority and research organization for animal health and food safety
Current epidemiological situation

Figure 1: Calabria protection area (20 km radius)
Figure 2: Sicily protection area (20 km radius)
Figure 3: Calabria and Sicily monitoring area (100 km radius)